wiadmin No Comments

Hurricane Harvey’s Aftermath: The Struggles Continue

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Since it made landfall in Texas on the night of August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey has become the strongest hurricane to hit the US in more than ten years, and the most powerful one to hit Texas in more than 50 years. Catastrophic flooding has struck the region and residents near the area beneath the Barker Reservoir were finally forced to evacuate on August 31.

Below is a video published by CNN showing what Hurricane Harvey left behind:

While help is coming from all sources, the residents who have been greatly affected by the calamity are starting to deal with the aftermath, even if what lies ahead of them may be quite bleak, given the extent of destruction Harvey has so far caused.

Reports point to the following statistics:

  • Data from property analytics firm CoreLogic reveals that insurers will only cover about 70% of the damages, since most of the damaged homes were not in high-risk flood zones and thus did not have flood coverage in their policies.
  • The US disaster relief policy suggests that homeowners get almost zero federal relief for reconstruction.
  • JPMorgan estimates that insured losses could reach as much as $10 billion to $20 billion.
  • The Insurance Information Institute also disclosed that only 12% of homeowners nationwide have flood insurance.
  • Predictions on the final cost differ, but preliminary estimate from weather forecast provider AccuWeather is around $190 billion. This is equal to the total cost of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and represents a 1% economic impact to the gross national product.

Precisely how homeowners intend to rebuild their properties is a question they are asking themselves, amidst physical, emotional and mental difficulties. As the government and local and international experts begin assessing the damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey, the residents’ struggles to move on continue. The crisis has opened up a lot of issues, problems and possible solutions in the future, but most importantly, lessons have been learned and sparks of hope begin to flicker.

wiadmin No Comments

The Pros and Cons of Coastal Living

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

For some people, living by the sea may be a dream worthy to wish for and follow. The serenity that coastal living promises may be understandably hard to resist. The Gulf Shores in Alabama, for example, is well known for its soft and ultra-bright white sand. Residents can both bask in the sea breeze or a few miles west, even watch sea turtles and migratory birds at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, an added perk any nature lover would surely enjoy.

Image source: Coastal Living

Aside from having a relaxed mental state and having an awesome view to wake up to every day, living on the coast also allows for more recreational activities, healthier living, and less stress. You can get more Vitamin D from the sun and breathe fresher air. The sea has also been proven as an effective way to get rid of hair chemicals and dirt or even cure skin diseases such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

However, those who wish to invest in coastal properties should also bear in mind the possible drawbacks of such decision:

  • The wear and tear resulting from extended exposure to sea air, which may shorten the lifespan of wood, cement and metal because of the higher level of moisture and corrosive salt it brings
  • The terrain types of properties along the coast are harder than normal to build on, thus may mean more expensive construction costs
  • Greater risk of flooding, which can impact your house and contents insurance
  • The possibility of coastal erosion which may result to temporary or worse, permanent damage to the property
  • Requires more maintenance especially if the façade is directly exposed to the prevailing wind

Whitehaven has specialized in writing high risk coastal properties since 2004. Get in touch with an expert now and find out how you can protect your investment without having to spend more.